Wheelhouse Weekly – January 19, 2006

January 19th 2006

– Bridging the Information Gap With E-News You Can Use –

Volume 10 . . . . . Number 3 . . . . January 19, 2006




T-AGS Oceanographic Survey Ships Info

Required Coursework

Security Clearances

MSC Physicals

MM&P Health & Benefit Plan News

Notice to Members who are taking Vioxx

NMHC Mail-Order Prescriptions Website Updated & Improved

WWII USCG Veterans Outreach

Company Gives Bucks Back for buying Safe Shoes

Website Offers Union-Made Goods and Services



Did you miss a week? Back editions of the Wheelhouse Weekly are available in the section.



Earlier this week, President George W. Bush announced his intention to nominate David Sanborn, of Virginia, to be Administrator of the Maritime Administration of the Department of Transportation. Mr. Sanborn currently serves as Director of Operations for Europe and Latin America
at DP World.

Prior to this position, he served as Senior Vice President for North America Service Delivery at CMA-CGM (America) LLC. Sanborn also served as a Vice President for Network-Operations for MM&P-contracted American President Lines. Earlier in his career, he served as Director for Operations for MM&P-contracted Sea-Land Service. Sanborn is a retired Lt. Junior Grade for the US Naval Reserve. He received his bachelor’s degree from the US Merchant Marine Academy.

The MARAD Administrator’s position has been vacant since January 2005 when Capt. William Schubert resigned. John Jamian has been serving as acting administrator during the vacancy and will continue in that capacity until the Senate votes on the Sanborn nomination.




The USCG is extending the expiration dates of credentials held by merchant mariners impacted by the effects of Hurricane Katrina until Feb. 28, 2006. The authority for this temporary relief measure was included in the Coast Guard Hurricane Relief Act of 2005 (Public Law 109-141). This measure applies to certain mariners whose credentials expired on or after March 1, 2005, or will expire before Feb. 28, 2006. The requirements are as follows:

Credentials are automatically extended for mariners whose home of record is listed as Alabama, Mississippi, or Louisiana on their merchant mariner credentials. To serve under the authority of their existing credentials, these mariners must carry a copy of the Federal Register notice with their existing credentials.

Credentials issued by Regional Examination Center (REC) New Orleans are automatically extended. To serve under the authority of their existing credentials, these mariners must carry a copy of the Federal Register notice with their existing credentials.

Other mariners who believe their ability to renew their credentials in a timely manner has been impacted by Hurricane Katrina should contact any REC to establish their eligibility for an extension.

If credentials were lost or damaged due to Hurricane Katrina, mariners may apply to any REC to receive a duplicate credential that will bear the same expiration date and information as the lost or damaged one. Mariners whose home of record is Alabama, Mississippi, or Louisiana may receive a waiver of the fees for issuance of duplicate credentials.

All mariners whose credentials are within one year of expiration are encouraged to submit renewal applications as early as possible. This Notice is effective January 17, 2006. If you have questions on this notice, call Donald Kerlin, Deputy Director, USCG National Maritime Center at 202-493-1006. Mariners may also contact any REC with questions regarding these temporary measures, for a copy of the Federal Register notice, or for any other assistance.


The body of a Columbia River bar pilot who went overboard into the Pacific Ocean last week has been found along the Washington State coast. Kevin Murray, 50, had been missing for several days after he disappeared while making the leap from an ocean bound freighter to a pilot boat on Jan.9.

According to media reports, Dave Pimentel, chief criminal deputy for the Grays Harbor County sheriff’s office, said the body was discovered on a beach about halfway between the towns of Copalis Beach and Pacific Beach – about 60 miles north of where Murray disappeared. The two towns are north of Grays Harbor and the city of Aberdeen. Pimentel said that swiftly moving ocean currents in the area due to a recent series of Pacific Ocean storms accounted for the distance the body traveled.

When he disappeared, Murray was climbing down a rope ladder on the oceangoing freighter he had guided over the Columbia River bar. He was supposed to grab hold of another rope, then jump to a pilot below that would bring him back to shore. But something went wrong during the nighttime transfer from the ship and Murray never made it to the pilot boat’s deck. The weather Monday night was bad even for the Pacific Northwest in January. Waves reached 15 feet or higher and winds were at 40 knots.

Bar pilots have shut down the traffic three times in recent weeks because of bad weather. The last fatality was in 1973, but three pilots have gone into the water in recent years and survived. The bar pilots wear “float coats” that look like street clothes until they hit the water and carbon dioxide cartridges activate, supplying buoyancy. They also carry water-activated emergency radio transmitters equipped with strobe lights, also designed to activate upon contact with water. Murray reportedly had all the appropriate gear. Investigators are looking into why his emergency transmitter didn’t turn on.


Two crewmen are confirmed dead and one remains missing from the Maritrans tug VALOUR that sank off the North Carolina coast in the early morning hours of Jan.18. A USCG helicopter and a nearby tug were able to rescue six of nine crewmen aboard the ocean-going tug before the vessel sank in 15 to 20-foot seas about 20 miles off Cape Fear. The 125-foot tug was attached to a 465-foot double-hulled petroleum barge containing 135,000 barrels of Number 6 oil and was en route to Corpus Christi. Around 2330 hrs the tug radioed the USCG that one of the crew had gone overboard and the vessel was taking on water in gale force winds.

The tank barge, set adrift after the VALOUR sank around 0230 hrs, was located drifting in high winds and heavy seas near Frying Pan Shoal. The USCG reported that the barge was apparently undamaged and all efforts were being made to prevent the barge from grounding.


MarEx, the online newsletter of Maritime Executive Magazine, reports that the crew of the Bahamas registered ship M/V AFRICAN KALAHARI threw seven stowaways into the sea near Port of Durban, South Africa. Four Ukrainian crewmembers, including the ship’s master, have been arrested in South Africa for their part in the incident. International conventions require that stowaways be brought back to port or be repatriated to their country of origin. Ship owners must pay the cost of repatriation.

Five of the stowaways survived the ordeal and reported the incident. The ship’s last port call was at Mombassa where the stowaways boarded the vessel. There have been other incidents of ship’s crews throwing stowaways overboard to avoid the cost of taking them back home. If evidence is found to implicate the ship’s captain in ordering the stowaways overboard, he will face murder charges.


The foreign-flag 880-foot long containership APL PANAMA still remains hard aground on the beach of Ensenada, Mexico, which is located about 60 miles south of San Diego. The ship’s Croatian captain, Polish chief engineer and unlicensed crew from Myanmar did not suffer any injuries when the ship hit bottom near the approach to the Port of Ensenada on Christmas Day.

As of Jan.18, here are the latest developments on the incident as posted on the APL web site. Efforts to remove fuel and ballast water to lighten the load have been completed successfully. Approximately five barrels of fuel spilled during salvage operations. The on-scene response crew immediately cleaned up the fuel to prevent environmental damage. The response team remains on alert around the clock.

The ship’s bow has been successfully repositioned for the re-floating of the vessel, and there are ongoing efforts to move the ship to deeper water. The salvage company is currently mobilizing additional equipment, and is working to reduce sand build-up around the vessel.

The salvage company intends to remove an unspecified number of containers from the port side of the ship to help lighten the vessel. The containers will be stored ashore. Due to operational limitations only empty containers and containers containing lightweight cargo will be removed. There is no sign of cargo damage aboard the vessel. Generators that have been installed on the ship are powering the refrigerated containers.


Defense officials have scaled back the initial group of civilian employees to fall under the new National Security Personnel System to 11,000 in the first group from a previously scheduled 60,000, officials announced earlier this week. The implementation date was also pushed back from February 1 to April 30.

Personnel officials have been seeking feedback on proposed rules from employees, managers, human relations specialists and employee unions for several months. That feedback “led us to conclude we need more time to focus on simplifying the performance management design, getting performance objectives right, and ensuring the system is simple, clear, and understandable,” NSPS officials said.

“DoD is committed to making the NSPS transition as smooth as possible for the workforce. Ensuring that we ‘take the time to do this right’ has always been a principle in our event-driven implementation approach,” officials said on the program’s web site. “We want to make sure that our employees, supervisors, and leaders fully understand this system, and that they have the tools to succeed in a results-focused, performance-based environment.”


The Adopt-A-Ship program is a joint effort of The Propeller Club of the United States and the US Maritime Administration where each US-flag ship involved in the program can be “adopted” by a classroom (Grades 5-8) during the school year. During the year, the class and the ship’s crew correspond and share experiences.

The purpose of the project is to teach young America, the citizens of tomorrow, the need for an educated US Merchant Marine for domestic and foreign shipping. In addition to patriotic applications, the Program fosters interests in geography, history, transportation, foreign and domestic trade, science, math, and English. It affords children an outlet for natural interest in the sea and teaches them something of the staunch character of the men and women of the American Merchant Marine.

For more info on the program can be found on the internet at The web site offers an opportunity for all of the teachers and students involved to share their experiences with other schools and ships. Teachers are encouraged to share their curricular activities through this site and assist other teachers in enriching their curriculum.


The answers to some frequently asked questions regarding MITAGS and PMI are now available in a new online information guide. Some examples: The answer to “Am I eligible to attend MITAGS and PMI?” can be found on page 9.
On page 17, you can find out what do when you would like to attend a course that is not offered at MITAGS or PMI. Questions about making travel arrangements to MITAGS are answered on page 10.

The MM&P Trust Student Policies and General Information Guide answers these questions and more and is now available on From the home page click on the first bullet: Maritime Advancement Training and Education Program (MATES). On the left-hand side column, click on MM&P Trust Student Policies. Click on Download Trust Student Policies and General Information-rev. 12/22/05.


CLASS OPENINGS: Between January and the end of April 2006, seats are available in the following courses:

ARPA – Automatic Radar Plotting Aids: 2/13, 3/20, 4/3
AZIPOD-KAM – Azipod and Kamewa Steering and Propulsion Systems: 1/24, 3/14

BRM – Bridge Resource Management: 2/13
BRMP – Bridge Resource Management for Pilots: 2/8
BST – Basic Safety Training: 1/30, 3/6, 4/24

[CMM – Chief Mate and Master Courses]
CMM-CHS I – Advanced Cargo Handling (week 1): 2/20, 3/20
CMM-CHS II – Advanced Cargo Handling (week 2): 2/27, 3/27
CMM-ECDIS – Electronic Chart Display and Info Systems: 3/20
*WX-BASREF-2 – Two-day Basic weather refresher, HIGHLY RECOMMENDED PREP for Advanced Meteorology: 2/4
CMM-MPP – Marine Propulsion Plants: 1/23
CMM-SHS-ADV-I – Advanced Shiphandling (week 1): 1/23, 2/13
CMM-SHS-ADV-II – Advanced Shiphandling (week 2): 3/20
CMM-SHMGT I – Ship Management (week 1): 2/6, 2/27
CMM-SHMGT II – Ship Management (week 2): 2/13
CMM-VPEN – Voyage Planning and Electronic Navigation: 1/30, 3/27
CMM-WKP – Watchkeeping: 2/20, 3/13, 4/10

CONT-PLNG – Contingency Planning: 2/10, 3/24

FF-BADV – Combined Basic and Advanced Fire Fighting: 3/6, 4/24

HAZ-Hazardous Materials (5-day): 3/27, 4/10

LEG – Legal Aspects of Pilotage: 2/8

MEDIA-RSP – Media Response: 2/9, 3/23
MED-DOT-DA – Dept. of Trans Drug & Alcohol Testing: 2/11, 3/18, 4/22
MED-PIC – Medical Person-In-Charge: 2/6, 3/13, 4/17
MED-PRO – Medical Care Provider: 2/6, 3/13, 4/17

[MSC – Military Sealift Command]
MSC-SMA – Small Arms (4-day): 1/30, 4/24
MSC-SMA-R – Small Arms Re-Qualification (2-day): 2/3, 4/28 (must have proof of passing all 3 weapons within 2 years)

ROP-5 – Radar Observer Original and Renewal (5-day): 3/27
ROR-1 – Radar Observer Renewal: 2/8, 2/13, 3/8, 3/20, 4/3

SEC-OFF-VCF – Security Officer, Vessel, Company & Facility: 2/6, 3/20
SHS-BAS – Basic Shiphandling: 2/20, 4/10
SHS-EMR-Emergency Shiphandling: 2/20, 3/27

TPIC – Tankerman Person-In-Charge: 2/13, 4/10

Check the MITAGS website at for course descriptions associated with the course title abbreviations, and schedule revisions. For class availability or info on MITAGS courses and programs, contact admissions toll-free at 866-656-5568 or Email:


PMI is offering a USCG Crew Endurance Management Coaches Seminar in Seattle from October 26-27 in addition to its regular course offerings listed below. This training is designed to provide commercial mariners the knowledge and skills to develop, deploy, and assess Crew Endurance Management Systems (CEMS) within their companies.

As a Crew Endurance Coach, the employee is critical to the success of CEMS implementation. Coaches provide education and guidance on the principles of light and sleep management, assist with changes to the work and rest environment, make recommendations on schedule changes, and help create personal endurance plans for each crewmember. Once successfully completing the training the Coach will have the necessary training to educate personnel on a vessel, and the processes and practices specific to the USCG Crew Endurance Management Program. The training session spans two full days and includes a written exam. Cost: $425 per person To Register: Call Pacific Maritime Institute at 206-441-2880 or toll free 888-893-7829.

January 2006

1/23-27 MEDPRO
1/23-2/3 MEDPIC
1/30-2/1 Ship Security Officer
1/30-2/3 RADAR Observer Unlimited
1/30-2/10 GMDSS

February 2006

2/6-10 BST
2/6-9 Lifeboat/Survival Craft
2/6-10 ARPA
2/6 Radar Renewal
2/13-17 ENAV
2/20-3/3 CNAV
2/20-3/3 Advanced Shiphandling
2/20-3/4 100 Ton OUPV
2/27-3/3 Tankerman Person-In-Charge
2/27-3/3 ARPA
2/27 Radar Renewal

March 2006

3/6-10 BST
3/6-9 Lifeboat/Survival Craft
3/6-10 Basic Meteorology
3/6-18 100 Ton OUPV
3/13-24 GMDSS
3/13-17 CONSTB
3/20-24 CHS BAS
3/27-31 MEDPRO
3/27-31 ARPA
3/27 Radar Renewal
3/27-4/7 MEDPIC

For registration call Jennifer Fowler 888-893-7829

PMI Merchandise for Sale: High quality with embroidered PMI logo. All prices include tax. Navy Caps: $18.00; Button Down Long Sleeve Dress Shirts Blue or Khaki: $38.00; Coming Soon: Navy, Burgundy, Khaki T-shirts, high quality thick Hanes shirt with pocket $22.00; 15 oz. Beautiful Cobalt Blue Ceramic Mug $10.Call DeeDee Lazik 206-838-8328 or e-mail



 D O W  N A S D A Q  S & P 500
10,854.86 -188.58 for the week 2,279.64 -51.72 for the week 1,285.81 -8.37 for the week


Fund Name & Trading Symbol
 Vanguard 500 Index Fund (VFINX)
 Vanguard Extended Market Index Fund (VEXMX)
 Vanguard International Growth Fund (VWIGX)
 Vanguard Morgan Growth Fund (VMRGX)
 Vanguard Windsor II Fund (VWNFX)
 Vanguard GNMA Fund (VFIIX)
 Vanguard High Yield Corporate Fund (VWEHX)
 Vanguard Total Bond Index (VBMFX)
 Chase Growth Fund (CHASX)
 Fidelity Asset Manager (FASMX)
 Fidelity Growth and Income (FGRIX)
 Fidelity Magellan Fund (FMAGX)
 Fidelity Small Company Instl (FMACX)
 Fidelity Value Fund (FDVLX)
 Spartan US Equity Index Fund (FUSEX) 45.25 -.57
 Domini Social Equity Fund (DSEFX)


~ Reminders ~




All MM&P members are reminded that to sail aboard the T-AGS ships that MM&P-contracted Horizon Lines will be operating, you must have the required training certification and your certificates must be current in accordance with Military Sealift Command requirements. Members are also required to have had a MSC pre-employment physical and to possess Ship Security Clearance (see below).

The MSC Contract calls for all training certificates required for manning of these vessels to be no older than 5 years and that all STCW-95 courses be renewed every 5 years, or annually, as applicable.

Five-year renewable courses include, but are not limited to:

  • Advanced Fire Fighting
  • Basic Safety Training, and
  • Damage Control

Small Arms certificates must be less than 1 year old and MUST NOT expire during your tour of duty.

Members interested in applying for one of the positions onboard the T-AGS vessels are advised to make sure your certificates are up to date. If not, contact Mary Matlock or Diane Ford at MITAGS Admissions, email:, and schedule to take the course(s) needed.

Those MM&P members interested in obtaining more information and facts about the T-AGS Oceanographic Vessels are asked to email the Director of Special Projects requesting the “facts sheet”. It will be provided by return email in an Adobe Acrobat PDF format.

Members interested in employment on the T-AGS ships are asked to provide a 1-2 page resume. Please list the desired position you are seeking along with the certificates of training you possess and their dates. Upon receipt it will be forwarded to Horizon Lines and a confirmation sent back to the member. Vessel turnover commenced Oct.17, 2004. Positions for all ratings remain open.

The point of contact for sending a resume for employment on the Horizon Lines T-AGS Oceanographic Vessels is Richard Plant, MM&P’s Director of Special Projects. Send resumes in an email or as a Word file attachment to him at:, by fax to 410-850-0973 or by mail to:

Richard Plant, Director of Special Projects

700 Maritime Blvd.
Linthicum Heights, MD 21090


Members who want to sail for Horizon Lines on the T-AGS Oceanographic Survey vessels the company is set to begin operating for MSC must have Ship Security Clearance before going aboard.

Special software must be downloaded from the US Government’s Defense Security Service to complete the Security Clearance application. You must have an Internet connection and a Windows-based computer to retrieve the application and run the program.

Go to to download the software titled “EPSQ SUBJECT2_2”.

After the software is installed and the program is launched, select “Create” from the menu bar at the top of the screen. You will be required to enter your Social Security Number and a case-sensitive password. A window titled “Type of Form” will appear.

All Deck Officers should select the first button titled “Request for Security Clearance (SF86)” and then click “OK” to go to the next screen, “Type of Investigation”.

From the “Type of Investigation” screen:

  • Masters and Radio Officers should select the first button, “Single Scope Background Investigation (SSBI)”.
  • All other Deck Officers (C/M, 2/M, 3/M) should click on the second button, “National Agency Check (NAC or NACLC)”.

After selecting the appropriate investigation type, click on “OK” to begin filling in the forms.



Horizon Lines requests all mariners seeking employment aboard the T-AGS Oceanographic vessels to take their MSC Physical at specially-designated facilities only after being advised to do so by the Company. This is to assure that all requirements of the MSC Physical are properly met.




Is it time to replace that car you’re driving? Vehicle loan rates are looking great at MM&P FCU.

Drive away in a new or used vehicle for a standard loan rate of:

4.75 percent for terms up to 24 months.
Standard loan rates for longer-term loans are:

5.00 percent for 25-48 months;
5.75 percent for 49-60 months ($20,000 minimum); and
6.25 percent for terms extending from 61-72 months ($25,000 minimum).
You can lower your loan rate even more — by 0.75 percent — by becoming a Preferred Borrower.

Are you paying a higher rate on your current vehicle loan at another institution? Consider refinancing your outside loan at the MM&P FCU and taking advantage of our lower loan rates.

MM&P FCU will finance up to 100 percent of your new vehicle loan, and up to 90 percent of NADA Book Value on a used vehicle. Maximum vehicle loan amount is $30,000.

MM&P FCU members can reduce the interest rate they pay on any new loan even further by becoming a preferred borrower. What is a preferred borrower? That’s a member who deposits at least 10 percent of the original loan amount into their MM&P FCU savings account and keeps those funds on deposit until the loan is paid in full. By doing this you save twice – first, your deposit works for you by earning our regular dividend savings rate, and second, you save money by reducing the interest rate on your loan by 0.75 percent.

Contact the MM&P FCU for full details on all loan programs by email to or call 1-800-382-7777 toll-free.




On Sept.30, Merck & Co. voluntarily withdrew Vioxx, a popular anti-inflammatory medication, from the market. As a result, individuals who are currently taking the drug have been asked to contact their health care professionals to discuss discontinuing use of Vioxx and possible alternative treatments.

MM&P Plans Administrator Valerie Verrecchio reports that, “We have gotten a number of calls from members who want to know what to do with their remaining supply of Vioxx and whether the Plan or NMHC will refund their co-pay for the unused portion.

“Unfortunately, neither NMHC nor the Plan was aware of the Merck decision prior to the public announcement on Sept.30. As of that date, all deliveries of Vioxx to our members was suspended in accordance with Merck’s announcement. Orders that had already been processed and were in transit could not be stopped.

“In regard to refunds, Merck has set up a website at where members can obtain information on how to recover refunds from Merck for the unused portion of medication. Members can also call following toll free number for information: 1-888-368-4699.

“We are sorry for any inc onvenience this may have caused to members currently taking this medication, however, the matter is out of the control of the Plans.”


MM&P Plans Administrator Valerie Verrecchio reports, “Good news! NMHC mail has finally gotten their website upgraded and functioning properly. I went in and tested it myself and found it to be quite user friendly.”

To use NMHC’s upgraded service, go to the NMHC Mail website at and click on “MEMBER LOGIN” at the bottom of the screen.

First-time and Registered users may bypass the welcome screen and go directly to the log-in page at

  • First-time users should then click on the link marked “NEW USER: REGISTER HERE”.
    This will take you to a page titled “MEMBER REGISTRATION” where you will need to enter demographic information and submit it by clicking on the
  • “CREATE ACCOUNT” button.

After creating your account, NMHC will email you a password to gain entry into your records. With your first sign-in, the NMHC system will prompt you to change the NMHC password to one of your own choosing.

Once you are registered at NMHC, you can check the status of open orders by logging-in to the system through the “MEMBER LOGIN” page and going into the “MAIL ORDER” menu. You can look up all prescriptions and get the price our members will pay for any medication. You can also view an order history of all of your medication transactions (both retail and mail) for the last 24 months, locate 24-hour pharmacies in your zip code region as well as access other helpful member education information.

“We hope this welcome improvement will assist our members. Although you cannot order refills on line if you don’t provide a credit or debit card number, you can phone in your refill. Once you register on the website, you will still have access to all of the other information including checking the status of your order once it is phoned in,” said Ms. Verrecchio.


The U.S. Coast Guard has announced an initiative to identify and collect the oral histories of its World War II veterans. Coast Guard WWII veterans, including SPARS and merchant mariners, are encouraged to record their histories online with the Library of Congress Veterans History Project at

Those veterans needing assistance in recording their stories can receive help from their local Coast Guard Auxiliary public affairs contact by leaving a message at 1-877-875-6296, a toll-free call.



LMS Ship Management, the company that manages vessels for Central Gulf, Sulphur Carriers and Waterman Steamship, wants to remind MM&P members that they offer their crewmembers a $75 reimbursement on the cost of purchasing certain slip-resistant shoes and boots for use aboard ship.

This offer has been in place for some time and LMS reports that “we have been pleased with the participation to date, but feel a reminder may be in order.” Their goal is for every crewmember to wear slip resistant footwear during working hours aboard their vessels.

The $75 reimbursement is available to each crewmember who provides LMS with an original receipt for the purchase of slip resistant footwear. In order for the crewmember to obtain the reimbursement, they must wear the shoes while on duty. Upon presentation of the receipt, the crewmember will be reimbursed on their pay voucher. The receipt will be retained by the Master and will remain aboard the vessel.

Vessels in the LMS footwear reimbursement program are:

  • Green Cove
  • Green Dale
  • Green Lake
  • Green Point
  • Atlantic Forest
  • Sulphur Enterprise
  • Energy Enterprise
  • SGT Matej C. Kocak
  • MAJ Stephen W. Pless, and
  • PFC Eugene A. Obregon

LMS notes that in order to receive reimbursement, crewmembers must purchase one of the following recommended brands:

  • WORX by Red Wing Slip Resistant Footwear
  • Caterpillar (must have steel toe & slip resistant sole)
  • Wolverine (must have steel toe and slip resistant sole)
  • Dunham Sierra Work Boot EH
  • Steel Toe Voyager
  • Georgia Boot 6- or 8-inch Safety Toe Boot
  • Dr. Marten’s (must have steel toe & slip resistant sole)


Of the boots listed above, Red Wing, Caterpillar and Wolverine boots are produced by US union labor.

Redwing’s Union-made products are: Red Wing shoes and boots, Red Wing motorcycle boots and Craftsman (Sears).

Wolverine World Wide manufactures boots under the Caterpillar brand using US union labor. (Other union made safety-shoe brands by Wolverine are the company’s Hy-Test, Durashock and Bates Military labels. The company’s Wolverine brand combat boots are also produced using US union labor.)

Most Dr. Marten’s shoes and boots are produced in the UK.

To find US, union-made products, visit the AFL-CIO Union Label Service and Trades website at and click on “Union Made Product Search”. To shop for union-made products online, go to



The Union Label recently went digital with a new website offering shoppers an array of union-made gifts, from clothing and chocolates to computers, games and greeting cards.

The website,, launches on the eve of the fall and winter holidays, when shoppers will spend an estimated $1 trillion on gifts, food, drinks and other seasonal items, explained Matt Bates, Secretary-Treasurer of the AFL-CIO Union Label & Service Trades Department. The all-union shopping site, however, will be a year-round operation because that is what consumers demand, he added.

“Shoppers spent $56 billion in Internet sales last year, and on-line spending is doubling every two to three years. Everyday we receive Email and calls from people who want to support good jobs by buying union-made goods and services. The website will reach millions of people, 24 hours a day, with a quick convenient way to shop union,” Bates said.

“The public is ready for this. People have seen millions of good jobs disappear and they are looking for ways to take a stand and make a difference,” he added.

The AFL-CIO will target the peak of the holiday shopping season by promoting “Buy Union Week” Nov. 26 through Dec. 5. The newly-launched, all-union shopping site will be a cornerstone of that campaign. MM&P has a link to the Shop Union Site on this website under “Links and Other Sources”.

The MM&P Wheelhouse Weekly is the official electronic newsletter of the International Organization of Masters, Mates, and Pilots, ILA, AFL-CIO, 700 Maritime Blvd., Linthicum Heights, MD 21090-1941. Phone: 410-850-8700; Fax: 410-850-0973; Email: For further info or to subscribe contact John Peige at The Wheelhouse Weekly is sent via Email to MM&P-contracted vessels at sea, broadcast worldwide via FEC marine telex and is posted on our web page.